Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), the first key hormone of reproduction, is synthesized and secreted from the hypothalamus in a pulsatile manner and stimulates pituitary gonadotrophs (5-10% of the pituitary cells) to synthesize and release gonadotropin luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Gonadotrophs consist of 60% multihormonal cells (LH+FSH) and 18% LH- and 22% FSH-containing cells. LH and FSH, members of the glycoprotein hormone family, stimulate spermatogenesis, folliculogenesis, and ovulation. Although GnRH plays a pivotal role in gonadotropin synthesis and release, other factors such as gonadal steroids and gonadal peptides exert positive and negative feedback mechanisms, which affect GnRH actions. GnRH actions include activation of phosphoinositide turnover as well as phospholipase D and A2, mobilization and influx of Ca2+, activation of protein kinase C (PKC) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). A complex crosstalk between the above messenger molecules mediates the diverse actions of GnRH. Understanding the signaling mechanisms involved in GnRH actions is the basis for our understanding of basic reproductive functions in general and gonadotropin synthesis and release in particular.